Thursday, October 15, 2009

Matzo Ball Soup (aka- Jewish Penicillin)

I make great Matzo Ball Soup. Especially for a little Lutheran Girl from North Idaho. :) So I thought I would share my recipe. (the photo is from, although the recipe is not.)

The secret to any great soup is a good base. That means no store bought chicken stock! You can go about this one of two ways. You can buy an already roasted chicken to make stock from or you can roast your own. I am going to assume you know how to roast a chicken. If you don't, I highly recommend using America's Test Kitchen recipe for it.

Take your carcass from your chicken. You want to kake sure there is still some meat and skin and definitely fat drippings, but you can use the chicken for a meal or two and still have enough on the bones to make stock. Put chicken in stock pot and cover with water.
Other ingredients:
  • two purple onions
  • 4-6 carrots
  • 3-4 cellery stalks with the leaves still on
  • whole head of garlic
  • tsp of cloves
  • spices- salt, pepper, savory, basil, thyme (to taste). Go light on the salt, you can always add more later.
  • parsley
  • lemon zest
  • approx 1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Roughly chop and add all ingredients except the last three. You can leave the paper on the garlic and the onion, just take the very outer layer off for cleanliness. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down (leaving covered! this is important, you don't want to expose broth to bacteria!) and let simmer 12-24 hours. When you are done simmering add the remaining three ingredients and bring to a boil for approx 10 minutes. Strain out all ingredients (I use a mesh colander) and then put back on stove. Boil it down to get a richer tasting broth and to conserve space in your freezer.

Ok, now you have the base for matzo ball soup. You need just need to make the soup!
  • Chicken (I sometimes leave this out)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions.
  • Garlic
  • Matza Balls (recipe below)
Other optional ingredients:
  • Broccoli
  • Leeks
  • Barley
Take your veggies and chop them fine for soup. I like a lot of veggies, do the amount that suits you. You then want to saute them. You aren't going for a long saute here. Something shorter that leaves them (especially the carrots and onions) slightly caramalized and still with some crispness. After you do this add your stock and barley (if using) and simmer together for about 30 min (longer is fine).

Matzo Balls

  • 1 Cup Matzo Meal (not matzo ball mix!)
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1/4 C veg oil
  • 1/4 C seltzer water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper, thyme, and Za'atar

Beat the eggs. Add Seltzer, oil, and spices. Mix well. Add Matzo meal and mix. Refrigerate for 1/2-1 hour. Moisten the palm of your hands with cold water and form the matzo balls. Use about 1 tsp to form balls 1/2 inch in diameter. Bring your soup to a boil and drop Matzo Balls into the soup. Cook for about 15-20 min. Then your soup is ready!

This is called Jewish Penicillin due to all the good things it has in it from the home made stock. The vitamins and minerals you get from this sort of stock are so good for you- especially during cold and flu season or while sick. I use this stock as the base for all my soups.

This is great to serve with a salad or sandwiches, but is also really a meal unto itself. Enjoy!



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